When you’re responsible for three, four, or even dozens of projects—how do you keep track of everything? And how do you know that other teams are tracking their projects the same way? Answer: a project tracker template.Create your template
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For project managers to work effectively, they have to be organized. But when it comes to tracking many different projects at once, even the most organized people can get turned around. A project tracking template helps you to keep tabs on multiple projects, across teams, in the same structured way.
A project tracking template is a tool that helps teams organize how they’re going to track multiple projects at once. This is especially useful when you work cross-functionally—by using the same template to track projects in the same way, everyone can easily find these projects (even when they’re tracked by a different team).
The best way to build a project tracking template is with project management software. This gives you the flexibility to move between different project tracking dashboards and see updates in real time. For example, if you create your project tracking template in Asana, you can also toggle between different views. Need to see the project timelines? Switch to the timeline view and suddenly, your work is displayed in a Gantt chart. Or, if you prefer a minimalistic overview, track your projects as a list—the same structure as a simple project task list.
Once you have your template set up, you can use it during project planning to coordinate who’s responsible for which projects, and where those will live. In addition to being a routine tool for project management, your template also helps with portfolio management. Because portfolio management uses many different projects in the same portfolio, you can use a project tracker template to coordinate how portfolios are set up and managed.
How you track projects can dictate how organized and focused the work is. Company-wide, this subtle difference can have a huge impact. When you’re able to track projects effectively in the same way across teams and departments, you set your entire workforce up to be more productive.
In addition, project tracking templates:
Ensure consistency. Use a template to track projects consistently across teams and launches. This way, you know that every major multi-project launch will be tracked (and organized) in the same exact way.
Reduce work about work. A project tracking template reduces the amount of time you and your team spend deciding how you’re going to track and coordinate the varying projects you need to complete your work.
Are customizable. Depending on your needs, you can create project tracking templates for each specific type of work. For example, you can create a template specific to your product development process, where you list out all the necessary projects for product development.
Project tracking templates help you track related projects in a unified way. When you use your template to create a new project tracker, it gives you an overview of all current projects, including:
The project status
Project tasks and descriptions
The project schedule, including start dates, end dates, and milestones
Plus, when you want to create a project to-do list for team members, you can access it directly from your project tracking tool.
Let’s look at a new product launch as an example.You would use your project tracking template to:
Create a new project tracker for your product launch
Attach all related projects, including the product roadmap and how it will progress through various project phases
Monitor product development by connecting Agile sprints to your team’s project tracker.
Use a project management tool to create a project tracking template that has all the features you need, including:
List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.
Timeline View. Timeline View is a Gantt-style project view that displays all of your tasks in a horizontal bar chart. Not only can you see each task’s start and end date, but you can also see dependencies between tasks. With Timeline View, you can easily track how the pieces of your plan fit together. Plus, when you can see all of your work in one place, it’s easy to identify and address dependency conflicts before they start, so you can hit all of your goals on schedule.
Dashboards. Dashboards are project-level tabs containing graphs and visualizations that let you zoom out from the day to day to quickly understand your project’s progress. Customize Dashboard charts so you can instantly identify potential blockers in your team’s work and subsequently move the project forward. Use the Dashboard tab as a reference point to find data to get a quick pulse on how the project is progressing.
Portfolios. Portfolios make it easy to organize and track all of your team's multiple projects in a single view. Get a high-level overview of how all your projects are progressing, then drill in for more details to address risks. Plus, share status updates across programs and keep stakeholders up to date without having to schedule a status meeting.
Dropbox. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Dropbox file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
Figma. Teams use Figma to create user flows, wireframes, UI mocks, prototypes, and more. Now, you can embed these designs in Asana, so your team can reference the latest design work in context with related project documents. And, unlike screenshots, live embeds update in real time to reflect changes made in a design file, eliminating the overhead that comes with finding the right files and updating images.
OneDrive. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Microsoft OneDrive file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
How you create your template will depend on the project management tool. For example, you can use Asana to create a digital project tracking template to share with yours and other teams. To create it, simply make a new project, outline any necessary sections and tasks, then save it as a template for everyone to use.
Project tracking templates help everyone to track projects in the same way. This makes it easier to find and use projects anywhere, company-wide. You can also use a template to repeat the same project tracking systems for similar projects (for example, a project tracking template for every quarterly marketing launch).
A project management tool is where you build your project tracking template. While project management tools can help you to oversee and track projects, they are multi-functional, and aren’t usually used solely as a way to track individual projects. However, you can use project management tools to build out a project tracking template, where you can consistently track all your projects.
Learn how to create a customizable template in Asana. Get started today.